The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) spends more than $4 million every year to pick up trash along the state’s roadways. Over half of all littering in Oklahoma occurs along rural and urban highways.
Landfills in Oklahoma reportedly will not reach capacity for 20 years. This may seem like a long time, but in terms of waste removal it is rather short. With only about 3% of all trash diverted to recycling center, Oklahoma must implement new strategies to keep their landfills open.
Most households in Oklahoma must pay for expensive recycling services. It is not mandatory to recycle and only about 22% of eligible Oklahoma City households participate. In order to increase recycling rates, a weekly $100 prize bumped citizen participation by only 0.17%.
Oklahoma City waste removal services provide area residents with what is known as Big Blue, which is a bin to contain their trash and for recycling residents use Little Blue.
Oklahoma residents have access to whats called the iScrap App. This website and mobile application allow Oklahomans to receive price quotes on unwanted materials from various salvage yards. This has proved to be very successful and popular throughout the state.
Oklahoma State University takes sustainability very seriously and offers single stream recycling to all of its students, faculty and visitors to its campus. This has led to 2 million pounds of materials being recycled since 2010 and OSU being named the greenest school in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma University is also an environmentally friendly school. They have recently constructed a green vegetative roof on a campus facility, which is the first in the state. This roof will improve energy efficiency and water quality. The green roof and other environmental efforts have accumulated the energy savings of the equivalent to taking 1800 cars off the road every year.
Despite the wealth of sunlight, Oklahoma ranks among the worst in the United States for solar power initiatives. However Oklahoma ranks one of the best state’s for the utilization of wind power.
Twice a year the City of Tulsa offers free disposal at the Quarry Landfill for area residents to get rid of their unwanted materials. Although there are some exceptions, the prices to dispose materials such as tires is greatly reduced.
Oklahoma averages 2,400 illegal dumps every year. 60% of all illegal dumping is deliberate.
Fertile Ground Cooperative offers compost pick up services to Oklahoma City residents. This affordable service specifically aims raise composting rates in apartment buildings.
Following Moore, Oklahoma’s devastating tornado, more than 3 million cubic yards of debris was created. If the debris were to all be compiled onto an NBA basketball court, it would be 1.7 miles high.
Started in 2008, the Oklahoma Green Schools Program has been helping schools in the Sooner State become more sustainable. Through the program’s certification, schools are able to save a great deal of money, while becoming more efficient.
A very weird law in Tulsa, Oklahoma makes its illegal to open a soda bottle without the supervision of a licensed engineer. If this law were to be more closely followed, this would severely cut down on soda bottles headed to the area landfills.
Whale hunting is also strictly forbidden throughout the entire state. Although whales in Oklahoma is very rare or even not existent, this law is a testament to environmental protection of the state.
OKC Beautiful has set the environmental standard since its start in 1962. Recently the non-profit organized more than 10,000 residents to pick up litter throughout the greater Oklahoma City area. This resulted in more than 181,000 pounds of trash being removed from city streets.